Charlie Davies is on Sochaux's 18-man roster for their Sunday match vs. Bordeaux.

Why D.C. United get first crack at Charlie Davies

NEW YORK – A look at the 2011 league player rules explains why D.C. United had first dibs at acquiring Charlie Davies.

United, who finished in last place in the overall league standings last year, are currently at the top of the MLS allocation rankings, the mechanism which determines the team with first priority to acquire US national team players based overseas.

The allocation rankings are determined by reverse order of finish for the 2010 season, taking playoff performance into account.

Once a club uses its allocation ranking to acquire a player, it drops to the bottom of the allocation list. The expansion Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers, who stood at the top of the allocation rankings at the conclusion of the 2010 season, moved down to the end after making two acqusitions of US national team players during the offseason. 

Here are the rankings as they stand as of Friday:

1. D.C. United

2. Chivas USA

3. Philadelphia Union

4. New England Revolution

5. Houston Dynamo

6. Toronto FC

7. Chicago Fire

8. Sporting Kansas City

9. Seattle Sounders

10. Columbus Crew

11. New York Red Bulls

12. Real Salt Lake

13. San Jose Earthquakes

14. LA Galaxy

15. FC Dallas

16. Colorado Rapids

17. Vancouver Whitecaps (acquired Jay DeMerit)

18. Portland Timbers (acquired Kenny Cooper)